Corporate Outfits – Last 6 weeks

I am in a much better mood when I like what I am wearing!

Working in corporate where I travel a little, interact with customers and also internal stakeholders – staff, my peers, the executives, I always try and look my best but at the same time not be too over the top and uncomfortable.  We have many internal stairs in our office, and some of my catch-up with staff/peers involve walks around the block, so I need to make sure my outfits (and shoes) are adaptive to any type of meeting or situation.

When I first started working in corporate 16 years ago, I used to spend a lot of money on suits and corporate shirts.  I still have most of them taking up an enormous part of my wardrobe!  The organisation I worked for at the time was also very corporate and so were its customers – so suiting up suited the environment and I totally think that should be the case, you have to be comfortable but also relatable.  I must say I loved wearing suits and I still love wearing shirts!

Today working in a semi corporate environment, a very large and grown up tech business, most people dress in jeans or very casual / flats, runners and I have seen thongs (not often though).  Whilst I could dress the same as most, I do not, this is my choice and it totally is a representation of who I am.  Although I do find myself wearing more pant outfits these days, and less skirts.  This too, also comes and goes in phases.

I love clothes, fashion, and looking a bit different to what I look like on the weekends / casual environments, makes me feel like I am in a work mode, not to mention it makes me feel good.

I spend time the night before choosing my outfit for the next day, I have everything laid out, and so there is no thinking in the morning regarding what I am wearing.  I do the same with the kid’s clothes and always have.  Mornings are so hectic in our household and I find this can limit some of the stress for all of us and allow us to focus on breakfast and getting out the door on time.

I do not have a huge number of pieces but I like to mix and match a lot, and also splash my wardrobe with something new every couple of weeks, whether it is a pair of pants, skirt, top, shoes or jacket.  I also change the look with a staple belt and sometimes some different earrings.  I am also fortunate enough to share a wardrobe with my twin sister, so if I am feeling a bit bored, this helps mix it up a bit too.  My favourite places to shop for work are Witchery, Cue, Bonnie Park (local in Balwyn) and Zara, and all my shopping is done online using shopbop and the iconic.

These are some of my favourites from the last 6 weeks.

Petra xxx

My Mid-week Go to Meals

Who’s got time to cook during the week let alone think about what to cook. Now I know why my mum owned a pressure cooker growing up!

Whilst my kids are mostly always fed when I pick them up after finishing work during the week, there are times when they are not, and I have a whole 30 mins to think, prep, cook and eat before it’s wind down time before bed. And there is always dinner for me and Pete (although some nights he is working) so it’s usually just me!

For those of you who know me well I am mostly eating lunch and dinner in the car or at the sink 🤪 en route to and from training/exercise, a meeting or some sort of kiddie pick up, so it really is a rarity that I am cooking up a storm during the week. I save that for weekends, maybe once or twice a month if I am lucky. Today happened to be one of those days.

So I thought I would share with you some of my go to meals that fit the criteria I mentioned above. The ones that I go to during the week. Mind you like my outfit and the kids uniforms the thinking happens the night before otherwise it just doesn’t happen.

1. Salmon, green beans or asparagus and rice

My butcher sells salmon every Tuesday so I always grab some pieces before work/school drop off. I cook the salmon in the oven in silver foil with some lemon, salt, olive oil and sometimes garnish with mushrooms or red capsicum. I then steam some green beans, asparagus or snow peas – kids don’t mind them either, with some brown rice. Yum.

2.  Chicken and vegetable stir fry

My butcher has pre made stir fry that I buy and then literally chuck onto a fry pan with some extra virgin olive oil and in the mouth! I usually cook extra for lunch the next day. Sometimes I add some soy sauce, sometimes I also add some gluten free noodles depends on how hungry I am. I have tried this stir fry with tofu instead of chicken, but can’t seem to find a nice tofu.  Any suggestions would be fab. Kids don’t like this meal or does Peter, all for me!

3. Crumbed chicken and veg

This ones the kids favourite. My butcher again has these amazing crumbed chicken thighs, bite size, gluten free! The kids love them, they think they are eating chicken nuggets (what’s with kids and nuggets) and I serve them with cucumber, carrot, broccoli (the latter a big struggle for the kids to eat) feta cheese and olives. Total winner.

4. Greek salad with chicken and mushrooms 

This one is one of my favourites and very easy. For the chicken I just use breast chicken and sometimes I have it vegetarian with lots of feta and oregano. As you have guessed I eat a lot of feta/goats cheese.

5. Bolognaise with steamed sweet potatoes 

One of my cooking up a storm meals on the weekend is bolognaise sauce with beef and pork mince. When I serve it during the week for Pete and the kids it’s with spaghetti. For me it’s with steamed sweet potatoes or just plain. To change things up I often make a lasagne too with the sauce and with gluten free pasta. No beshamel sauce as we all aren’t really fans. Sometimes I put sweet potatoes instead of pasta down the bottom with the sauce drizzled on top, topped with mozzarella and parmesan but that’s if I have a bit more time!

6. Egg omelette with goats cheese and vegetables 

The amount of times I eat an omelette during the week I can seriously cook one with my eyes shut! Favourite ingredients with or without yolk include: mushrooms, Meredith goats cheese or feta cheese, red capsicum, oregano, zucchini, broccoli, baby spinach, oregano and chilli. Again not for the kids or Pete, just mua.

7. Homemade Pizza

This one is for the kids mainly on a Friday literally using the coles brand pizza bases, leggo pizza sauce, ham, perfect pizza mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, black olives and sometimes some red capsicum. So easy and a big winner.

8. Steak, vegetables, homemade chips and rice 

Choice of cut is either eye fillet (my choice) or sirloin (Pete’s favourite) with steamed broccoli, cucumber, steamed corn, ice berg lettuce with salt, white vinegar and olive oil, red cabbage again with salt, white vinegar and olive oil, home made chips using the dirtiest potatoes, and sometimes some rice. The kids are very fussy (or spoilt) so I need to provide choice. Thankfully they love the meat, I am not so much a fan in my old age. Pete often makes this meal for us when he is home early enough.

9. Zucchini slice with goats cheese

This one requires prep but is yum and lasts in my fridge for days. Sometimes I make it the night before as soon as the kids are asleep. I use the recipe on taste.com.au and replace the onion (due to being a bit intolerant) with celery, the flour with almond meal, and bacon with feta or goats cheese. Kids don’t mind this one either.

10. Mixed roasted vegetables 

Throw diced zucchini, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mushrooms, eggplant into a pan and then the oven drizzle with lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt to cook for 20 or minutes.  All for me and so filling.

11. Casserole – tomato based or Indian curry based – frozen pre cooked meal with rice 

This one I have pre cooked in a slow cooker on a weekend, and has loads of vegetables- carrots, zucchini, celery, eggplant, whatever I can’t find, with some skinless thigh fillets and either red sauce or curry sauce that I buy from my gourmet grocer. Not for the kids as it usually has a bit of spice although they do taste it from time to time. Always eaten with rice either white or brown.

12. Souvlaki with lamb back strap

Use Jerry souvlaki pitas from coles, with tzatziki (Chris’s Greek dips as he was my godfather and it is the best) or hummus, iceberg lettuce, tomato and anything else I feel like usually mushrooms. Most times I skip the pita and enjoy it open. The kids love it with the pita, lettuce and tzatziki.

You have probably gathered, that I love to cook with extra virgin olive oil, salt and oregano and sometimes chilli if it’s just for me. Other spices I like to use are cinnamon, black chives, bay leaf and nutmeg. Being Greek, I also love a bit of lemon or maybe a lot! Olives and feta cheese is always in my fridge, and I like to keep it very simple. Would love to hear some of your go to’s if you are happy to share.